If Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin wasn’t spared after a video of her dancing at a private party went viral, school teacher Sajini Shinde (Radhika Madan) has no chance of escaping the consequences of drunk dancing in dishabille during her birthday party.
In Mikhil Musale’s Sajini Shinde Ka Viral Video, the eponymous heroine is sacked by her principal (Bhagyashree) under pressure from outraged parents. Sajini’s controlling fiance Siddhant (Soham Majumdar) freaks out. Her autocratic father, the famous stage actor Suryakant (Subodh Bhave), is furious. Her mother (Sneha Raikar) is being mistreated by Suryakant.
Coming out of the fog of slut-shaming opprobrium, Sajini writes a suicide note blaming her father and Siddhant and vanishes. He best friend (Shruti Vyas) raises enough of a stink for the sleepy Pune cops to wake up.
Bela (Nimrat Kaur), a non-Marathi speaker who is already straining under the sexism that forces her to work in the women’s cell, is asked to investigate along with junior cop Pawar (Chinmay Mandlekar). Pawar is civil enough to Bela’s face but has saved her name as “Dooberman Madam” on his phone. The misspelling amuses Bela more than the nickname.
She dresses in severe, manly outfits and rarely smiles. When questioning Sajini’s circle, Bela mimics the harsh speech pattern of her male colleagues. She finds that everybody is more concerned about their reputation than Sajini’s disappearance, or possible murder.
There is not enough pace or spice in the plot (written by Musale, Parinda Joshi, Anu Singh Choudhary and Kshitij Patwardhan) to yield a satisfying thriller. Like in any police procedural, a clue does pop up once in a while, but the final reveal is a let-down.
Tying up Sajini’s family in knots, setting the father and fiance squabbling with their lawyers in tow (Sumeet Vyas, Kiran Karmarkar), adding the extraneous character of a brother (Ashutosh Gaikwad) and a guilty-looking friend (Rashmi Adgekar) collectively pad a script that does have enough substance to run for nearly two hours.
The character of the stern, loner female cop, with only a dog for company, is now a stereotype. Still, Nimrat Kaur plays Bela with as much conviction as she can muster. What Musale does well is create the small town Maharashtrian ambience – the plays Suryakant performs, his fan following (Pawar touches his feet), his patriarchal arrogance (have plays the part with realistic flourishes). The idea that Sajini’s fate affects other women around her is an idea toyed with but not fully realised.